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AC liquid line very hot, while suction line cold


Brandon Whitmore
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What are some of the main causes of a liquid line being so hot that you can only touch it for about a second, while the suction line is nice and cold? AC seemed to be cooling the house fine, but something's definitely not right.

Also, the 30 amp set of breakers being used as the switch disconnect were very hot to the touch-- are these issues somehow related?

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What are some of the main causes of a liquid line being so hot that you can only touch it for about a second, while the suction line is still cold? AC seemed to be cooling the house fine, but something's definitely not right.

Also, the 30 amp set of breakers being used as the switch disconnect were very hot to the touch-- are these issues somehow related?

Dirty condenser, condenser fan inoperable, non-condensible's - something is wrong on the high side. When you have abnormally high head pressure you will get a hot liquid line and the breaker will be warm/hot due to the load being put on it (the compressor is working much harder than normal - drawing more amps). If you put an amp probe on it you would have seen high amp draw. A system that is overcharged can show this type of condition as well.

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Terence seems to have the refrigeration/HVAC portion of this biz figured out pretty well.

I'd love it if you extemporized about how you look at equipment; what's your basic approach, how do you figure out anomalies, what are the baseline necessary observations?

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Dirty condenser, condenser fan inoperable, non-condensible's - something is wrong on the high side. When you have abnormally high head pressure you will get a hot liquid line and the breaker will be warm/hot due to the load being put on it (the compressor is working much harder than normal - drawing more amps). If you put an amp probe on it you would have seen high amp draw. A system that is overcharged can show this type of condition as well.

Thanks Terence.

That's pretty much what I picked up on- line, besides the info. regarding the breaker heat. I could only hold my hand on the breaker for a few seconds before it started to hurt-- I am kind of thinking that the breaker should have tripped, but I don't carry an amp probe while on the job. I've felt some pretty warm breakers before, but nothing like this.

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